May 312008

“Do you cry out in your sleep?”

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I am thoroughly charmed by this video that Jonathon Beamish did for Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. The opening montage is inexplicably genius, as is the segue into the footage of the band.

May 282008

Okay, so I’m a bit tired (just got back from seeing the new Indiana Jones movie with Meagan), so tonights review will actually be just kind of highlights of the best and worst of the festival.  A more full-fledged review will hopefully happen within the next few days.  So without further ado, here are the Fifty-Two Tuesdays Editor’s Choice Awards for Sasquatch! Festival 2008.

Best Stage Presence: The Presidents of the United States of America – Man, these guys were all over the stage, interacting with the audience and seemed genuinely excited to be performing for fans.  They were engaged and bantery while still playing tons of great tunes.  They also had a great mix of new songs and old classics.  They were animated and obviously enjoyed being there.

Best Single Song: The Cure, “Lovesong” – They exploded into this one and just gave an absolutely stellar performance.  They definitely fed off the crowd’s energy at hearing what is, basically, THE definitive Cure song.  It was energetic and lively, in contrast to a lot of other parts of their set.  The mixing problems that plagued the rest of their set (see below) seemed to die away for a few minutes and all that was left were those mopey goth fops doing their level best to rock the hell out of the crowd.  It was awesome.

Most Disappointing Set: The Cure – Now, let me start by saying that part of the reason for this is that I went in with some pretty high hopes.  I’ve been a Cure fan for ages (I first heard “Love Cats” and a few other tunes when I was in about 6th grade and was hooked), and this was my first time seeing them, so I was hugely excited.  Unfortunately the set was plagued by mixing problems (at times the guitars drowned out everything, other times you couldn’t even make out the melody line) and the band decided to trade energy for duration.  This meant that they seemed to kind of limp their way through some songs, just so they could kind of thump along until they got to the real crowd-pleasers.  All in all, they were on stage playing for around two and a half hours, so I can’t fault them on endurance, I just would have liked a little more interest and energy at times.  Still, though, it was a good set, just not as brilliant as I’d been hoping.  It could be just a function of my high expectations, but I think there was more too it than that.

Worst Performance by a Main Stage Band: M.I.A – I didn’t pay $65 + fees and drive two hours to watch a bunch of random inebriates dance to a drum machine while shitty computer graphics played around them.  For that I can wander over to the Star on Karaoke Thursdays.  Seriously, grabbing 150 random folks from the pit to dance on stage while you gyrate and mumble indistinctly?  That’s not entertaining.  Hell, that’s not even square with the fire codes.

Best New Discovery: White Rabbits – Incredible energy, interesting sound and instrumentation, and clever catchy lyrics (“But you won’t find the Devil in Stanford town”) made this 6-piece, New-York-based Indie Rock Band’s set a real pleasure to catch.  Check them out at their MySpace.  They also apparently have a full-length album out, which I’ll be quite interested to hear.

Best in Show: R.E.M – Michael Stipe in the boys were simply amazing.  Great energy, insanely good musicianship, and a commanding, charismatic stage presence.  I started the set as a casual enjoyer of R.E.M’s music and left it a rabid fanboy.  I now not just want but need their newest album, Accelerate.  I pondered the idea of grabbing a poster on my way past the merch booth later that night (but alas, was strapped for cash).  They may seriously have taken a casual listener and turned him into a True Fan.  From Michael Stipe’s effortlessly charming vocals and stage antics to Peter Buck and Mike Mills’ instrumental virtuosity, it was, simply put, everything that a live show should be.

May 272008

Back

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Sasquatch! Festival was AMAZING.  Full review of the show to follow tonight, but seriously, an absolutely brilliant way to spend Memorial day weekend.  Now, I’m going to finish unpacking my van and get some much-needed work down.

May 232008

Sasquatch! Festival Preview 9

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Well, tomorrow marks the start of the three days of musical glory that is Sasquatch! Festival. With that, I present to you your last Sasquatch! preview of 2008. Tomorrow night’s headliner are a band called R.E.M., of which some of you in the audience may have heard. They have, after all, managed to garner a respectably-sized fan base in their nearly 30 years of rocking.

Here’s a video of them performing “Everybody Hurts” off of their insanely successful Automatic for the People, featuring some excellent footage of the wonderfully egg-headed Michael Stipe. (No, seriously, his head looks like it might hatch if it gets warm for too long.)

And as a little last-preview bonus, here’s a video of them performing my personal favorite R.E.M tune, “Losing My Religion”, off of Out of Time:

For the record, if they don’t play this tomorrow night, I reserve the right to demand a refund.  Or, at the very least, mope about how the set would’ve been better if they had played it.

And with that, I’m off the internet until Tuesday.  Check this space then for a full review of the festival.

May 222008

Sasquatch! Festival Preview 8

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Well, Sasquatch! is just around the corner. Here’s another band that’ll be rocking the Sasquatch! Mainstage (Saturday, 8:15pm, just ahead of the Cure). This is Death Cab for Cutie performing “Title and Registration” off of Transatlanticism.

May 202008

Sasquatch! Festival Preview 7

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One band that I’m particularly excited about is The Cure, who are headlining Sunday night’s show. They’ve got talent and experience and I’ve been a huge fan of their music for years. They’re touring in support of their upcoming 13th studio album. Here they are playing “Alt.End” off of their self-titled 2004 release:

And, as an added bonus, here’s “The Only One”, the first single off of their (as yet unnamed) upcoming album:

May 202008

Sasquatch! Festival Preview 6

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Here’s Modest Mouse (Saturday, 8:15pm, Sasquatch! Mainstage) performing “Float On” off of Good News for People Who Love Bad News:

May 192008

Festival van now full, Sasquatch! Festival preview 5

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Hey folks, the van headed to Sasquatch! Festival 2008 is now officially full. All I can say is that it’s going to be an awesome three days.

In celebration of my finally finding seven hearty souls to accompany me to the greatest festival in the Pacific Northwest, here’s the New Pornographers (Saturday, 5:25pm, Sasquatch! Mainstage) performing “My Rights Versus Yours” off of their latest albums Challengers:

May 192008

Sasquatch! Festival Preview 4

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Among the many reasons to stay through the weekend to see the Monday sets are Built to Spill. These old men of Indie will be making their way up from their native Boise, Idaho to rock the main stage at 3:30 on Monday afternoon. Here they are performing “Stop the Show” off of Perfect from Now On:

May 132008

Well, if all goes as planned, the Internet Gods (working through their avatar, Comcast Cable Installation Man) will be blessing my humble new abode with a some internets. Probably just a few at first, but, if the Internet God wills it, they will grow strong and multiply, their digital fecundity a marval for all to see.

. . . Uh, okay, so that went kind of a weird place. Anyway, the point is, I’m supposed to be getting Internet hooked up this afternoon, so posting should pick up in the next few days.

In the meantime, here’s another bit of Sasquatch! Festival Preview-y goodness. Here’s Seattle-based folk-popsters Fleet Foxes (Saturday, Noon, Sasquatch! Mainstage) with “Mykonos” off of their Sun Giant EP. Apologies for the lack of live video, I couldn’t find any videos of live performance that weren’t shaky-cam clips with poor sound.